“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”
(Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11 ESV)
God derives no pleasure from the destruction of wicked image bearers. But, because He is perfectly holy and just, He must punish sin. It is amazing that the Creator of the universe feels sorrow over the destruction of those who have been made in His image – that is not how things were created to be. Image bearers are to reflect the essence of God in physical form – that is what we were created for. Like a shattered mirror or a really low resolution icon on your computer, we do not reflect Him well. The good news is that the Holy Spirit regenerates the hearts of the believer, deposits believing faith and empowers us to better reflect God & His glory. Instead of being glory thieves, like the wicked (which we once were), we now live for His glory. This is not something that we manufacture on our own through our own hard fought discipline, but through an ongoing life of surrender and dependance.